OLYMPIA – The cost of replacing a lost fishing or hunting license will be significantly lower under a new pricing structure approved today by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Beginning June 14, WDFW will charge a flat fee of $7.66 to replace a lost license document, which includes a 9.5 percent fee to cover the cost of the department's new automated licensing system.
In past years, WDFW has been authorized to charge a replacement fee of $10.95 (including the automated licensing fee) for each hunting or fishing activity authorized by the license.
For someone who has already paid for several endorsements – such as freshwater fish, shellfish, big game and migratory birds – the cost of replacing a lost license or permit "could get pretty steep," said Frank Hawley, WDFW licensing manager.
"In past years, when we had to process everything manually, we needed to charge more to recover our costs," Hawley said. "That's no longer the case. With the automated system, all the information we need to issue a new license document is consolidated in one place."
In response to the increased efficiency afforded by the new licensing system, WDFW worked with the state Legislature to reduce replacement-license fees after the Washington Interactive Licensing Database (WILD) became operational in 2001.
Hunters and fishers have already seen a number of other advantages from the new WILD system, including the ability to purchase licenses over the phone or via the Internet. In addition, the new system has improved financial reporting and accountability by license dealers and has significantly reduced the time required by the department to account for license sales revenue.
"The WILD system has revolutionized the licensing system here at WDFW and we're pleased that our customers are seeing those benefits," Hawley said.
In addition to the 9.5 percent transaction fee assessed on license sales to cover the cost of operating the new system, license dealers such as sporting goods stores can also charge up to $2 per license to cover their costs. That will remain the same when the new flat fee for replacement licenses takes effect June 14, Hawley said.